Gary Taxali and the AGO throw a fête to celebrate the launch of "This is Silly!"

By Phoenix Tarampi Last night at the
Art Gallery of Ontario, an odd assortment of people were gathered within the giftshop, all sharing the same air of lighthearted anticipation. For what? you may ask. Why would parents with their toddlers be chatting candidly with press and local fashion and art media? Why the giftshop? Why are people carrying delicious-looking blue and pink cocktails that are named "Oh Oh!" and "Oh No!"
Well, celebrated Canadian illustrator and artist
Gary Taxali was there, and the evening was dedicated to the launch of his first children’s book, "This is Silly!" The kids were there to get signed copies of the book, press was there to meet the man himself, and the drinks were named after two of his signature characters. Taxali’s whimsical illustrations have been featured in
Rolling Stone, The New York Times,
Esquire, and other publications. His ’30s-style drawings are classic, childish yet sophisticated, and well, silly! "This is Silly!" is full of wacky characters and its goal is to remind children and adults alike that silly is a state of mine, and encourages readers to get a little giggly from time to time.
Copies of "This is Silly!", select Taxali prints, and other works of his art – including cuff links, journals, shirts, and skateboards – are available at the AGO gift shop.